A national framework for recovery-oriented mental health services: guide for practitioners and providers

Capability 4C: Recovery-promoting service partnerships

Page last updated: 2013

A recovery-oriented mental health service establishes partnerships with other organisations both within and outside of the mental health sector.

Core principles

  • Many services and supports outside the mental health system play an important role in helping to promote recovery and wellbeing by connecting people with their communities, traditions and cultures and reconnecting them with their developmental trajectories.
  • Partnerships can increase the efficiency of the mental health system by making the best use of different but complementary resources.
  • Mental health services and practitioners work through strong and sound service partnerships to support people to gain maximum benefit from locally available services and resources.


Values and attitudes

Mental health practitioners and providers...
  • are outward looking and embrace service partnerships
  • welcome person-directed or initiated opportunities for new service partnerships and pathways
  • acknowledge that strong service partnerships enable holistic and comprehensive mental health care
  • recognise and value the expertise and contribution of other services
  • respect partnering agencies and their staff as equals


Mental health practitioners and providers...
  • maintain up-to-date knowledge of local services, resources, referral points and processes
  • maintain up-to-date knowledge of emerging evidence and best practice in service partnerships and service coordination Top of page

Skills and behaviours

Mental health practitioners and providers...
  • invest time, staff, materials, resources or facilities in service partnerships
  • coalesce with partners around the clear and shared goal of supporting personal recovery and a person’s aspirations, choice and self-management
  • ensure that respective roles, responsibilities and expectations are clearly defined and understood by all partners
  • ensure that the administrative, communication and decision-making structure of the partnerships are as simple and easy to use as possible
  • standardise wherever possible common processes across agencies such as protocols, referral processes, service standards, data collection and reporting
  • use partnership analysis tools to reflect on and strengthen existing alliances and to establish new alliances
  • strategically, systematically and routinely draw on the strengths, knowledge, expertise and resources of other services to augment and support personal recovery

Recovery-oriented practice

Mental health practitioners and providers...
  • develop service partnerships to support people and their families to access the services and supports they require which may include health care, advocacy, education, training and employment, rehabilitation and support, exercise and nutrition, recreation, family support, childcare, housing and volunteering
  • access lived expertise in determining supportive, responsive, person-centred service partnerships Top of page

Recovery-oriented leadership

Mental health practitioners and providers...
  • validate and actively support service partnerships
  • build the requirement for service partnerships and service coordination into recruitment, professional development and continuous quality improvement
  • encourage and reward collaborative action by staff and reciprocity between agencies
  • take the time and resources to build effective partnerships and service coordination, with other services and within the team
  • support staff to prioritise the space and time necessary for good service partnerships and effective service coordination.


  • Establish local recovery communities of practice.
  • Subscribe to and circulate the e-newsletters of community organisations.

Resource materials